Sunday, April 16, 2023

About Forster

Matthew Goodwin has put in so much work reiterating the thesis contained in his new book, and his enemies have devoted so much space to attacking it, that there seems little point in actually reading the bloody thing. I’ll wait for the movie. Essentially, Goodwin suggests that Britain is controlled by an “elite” of academics, media folk and the like whose left-leaning attitudes are way out of sync with the rest of the population. You thought it was property speculators and energy oligarchs who caused the current perfect storm of misery? No, it was Gary Lineker and Carol Vorderman, because they’re woke, an adjective so heinous that nobody can actually define it.

And then someone posts this on Twitter and it describes pretty much everything Goodwin describes and loathes and that says far more about Goodwin than it does about Lineker or Vorderman or even Forster:

Friday, April 14, 2023

About ChatGPT, again

Self-Googling is dangerous enough, but throwing oneself into the maw of AI is... well...

Tim Footman is a British author, editor, and journalist who has written on a variety of topics, including technology, culture, and history. Some of his notable works include:
"The World According to the Simpsons: What Our Favorite TV Family Says About Life, Love, and the Pursuit of the Perfect Donut" (2006) - a book that explores the cultural impact of the popular TV show "The Simpsons."
"International Guy: Paris, New York, Copenhagen" (2017) - a series of novels co-authored with Audrey Carlan that follows the adventures of a globetrotting male escort.
"The Mindfulness Workout: A Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World" (2021) - a self-help book that provides practical tips and exercises to help readers reduce stress and live more mindfully.

PS: Also, from several months later, this: 

Sunday, April 09, 2023

About Morrissey

I’ve long come to terms with adolescent infatuation with Morrissey and am quite happy to build a metaphorical wall between his early work and the blimpish buffoon he’s become in recent years. (And in similar terms, I feel no need to boycott Gauguin’s art or Ezra Pound’s poems or the Gill Sans font, just because of their creators’ various misbehaviours.)

Steven Patrick himself, however, seems determined to punish his fans from 40 years ago if they haven’t kept the faith all these years:

They also strongly allude to an imaginary time when I was somehow their actual flesh-and-blood friend, and this claim allows them full rights to enlightened bitterness.

PS: Remembering that time I asked Mozz to shatter my youthful delusions once and for all.

Friday, April 07, 2023

About age

Wailing and gnashing over a public broadcaster making the classic mistake of trying to lure younger listeners now, rather than just waiting until they get old:

But then, searching for something else, I come across a theatre review from last year (of a show that sounds disturbingly as if I might have written it, but also pretty bad, which tells its own tale), where the writer appears to accept this logic, even if he’s old enough to know better, and to get the joke: 

I detest clever-dick plays that make the audience struggle hard to find meaning but allows them the warm glow of self-congratulation for getting an obscure reference. I studied Eliot in A-level English and devoured the Marx Brothers films at what was then the National Film Theatre in the 1980s. Is The Waste Land on the curriculum now, in its centenary year? And who under 50 knows about Groucho and his siblings and will therefore get McGuinness’s oblique references to old routines and one-liners? Writers can write what they want, of course, but it’s odd to pitch a play exclusively to an ageing demographic.

Any odder than pitching it exclusively to the young, who apparently don’t want to watch a play, or listen to a radio station, that would have them as an audience?